ethan_icon.gif munin_icon.gif sylar_icon.gif

Scene Title Timelagged
Synopsis It's hard to enjoy the present when your mind is still in the future.
Date December 17, 2008

Dorchester Towers: Ethan's Apartment

Dorchester Towers is home to many upper class, or more wealthier inhabitants. This apartment seems to be no exception. First impressions of this place, give a homey, and well furnished feel. Lamps are put in the right place, decorations here and there. The living room consists of a large green sofa facing the wall of windows, which has a large flatscreen TV in front of it. Speakers are installed all around for the Surround Sound feel. Next to the TV is a cabinet full of DVDs. Most of these movies include a gun of some sort in each of them. A small coffee table sits in front of the couch, a few magazines spread out on it.

The kitchen is well stocked, with a microwave, coffemaker, and of course a toaster. There is an overhead pan rack hanging over the stove which has many pots, pans, and other utensils hanging from it for easy access. Three doors lead away from the kitchen and living room. Two are large, comfortable bedrooms, complete with posters on the walls, and one is a room that is furnished with a stand up punching bag, dumb bells, a treadmill, and other types of work out equipment.

For the -extremely- well trained eye, or for someone who knows what they're looking for it would be apparent that there are little things off about this apartment. Reinstalled panels, etc, that would suggest whoever lives here has done some rennovation work. (Note:Ethan has 'toys' hidden throughout his apartment, in case of 'emergencies'.) Overall though, this spacious living area has been well taken care of, and kept very tidy.

Dorchester Towers is a place that has seen a lot of violence, including the kidnapping of Catherine Chesterfield and Danielle Danielle Hamilton, as well as the summary execution of Sierra Heart at the hands of Ethan Holden, but tonight the complex — or at least this corner of it — is a bastion of peace and tranquility. Up until a few days ago, Munin had been languishing in the bowels of an abandoned psychiatric hospital belonging to the Ferrymen; now that she's home, she's gone through the process of turning Ethan's den into a place where she can curl up and get more than two or three hours of sleep at a stretch without being awakened by people threatening to torture her for information. She's curled up on the couch beneath several layers of blankets, her curly hair spread out in dark waves across the pillow upon which she rests her head, her face buried in the crook of her arm like an overgrown kitten too exhausted to do anything except sleep. And that's exactly what Munin is doing: catching up on dozens of lost hours of well-deserved rest, courtesy of Elias and his bottles of stolen prescription medication.

The door opens slowly, Ethan entering and holding the door open just wide enough for Sylar to enter by. As soon as the two men are in, he goes to close the door behind him. A quick cursory scan of the room tells him what he needs to know. The littlest Vanguard member is asleep. A touch of a grin curls on his lips, though it quickly vanishes. He glances to Sylar. "A room is open if you want to lay down." Sierra left a vacancy.

The man goes to step around into the living room, his cozy warm gear stripped in transit. He now wears a gray suit. Going to one knee, the Wolf gently and slowly touches Munin's hand, to slowly stir her into conciousness. "Princess.." He murmurs. "Someone's 'ere to see you." He glances up at Sylar. "She'll be 'appy to see you alright. We 'ad quite a time gettin' 'er back, no thanks to you." Grinning, he rubs Munin's hand gently, straightening up.

It's good to be back. Sylar spent most of the journey to Ethan's apartment staring out the window and observing the sheer activity that soaks into New York City like water in a sponge, even after its explosion; watching people flit in and out of buildings, making the world dense with life. It's thankfully quieter in Ethan's apartment and Sylar steps inside, only nodding at the confirmation of a room. He could use a place to go. He's not even sure what's become of his own apartment, even if he's only been gone for something like ten days. World moves fast.

He's thankfully dressed in something that isn't the ragged garments he'd appeared in Antarctica in. Warm and respectable clothing and a shoulder that still needs some seeing to but at least is wrapped in clean bandages beneath the sweater and coat. When Ethan goes to Munin, that's where Sylar stops short, and watches the two, although his gaze is inevitably drawn to the girl, ten years younger than when he last saw her and so much more vulnerable than the coarse, gun-toting woman he'd met in a different New York City, the one who had instructed him to make his own fate.

Somehow, he's unsure if this one would tell him any different. "Did they hurt her?" Sylar asks, curiously. He almost wants to know exactly how much nerve Phoenix has these days.

"Hnn." It's hard to determine what that translates to. It could mean "Go away," in mumble speak, or it might mean "Who's there?" There's no way for Ethan or Sylar to know for sure, but Munin gradually rouses from her slumber, heavy lashes fluttering like maiden-fly wings against her cheeks. She's still half-asleep when Sylar's voice rings through the apartment, and she doesn't recognize it as his until she opens her eyes and wills the world back into focus. Even then, there's a vague look of uncertainty on her bruised features as, with a quiet groan, she rolls over to face the two men without lifting her head. "Eth'n? Who's— ?"

The back of his knuckles brush across her cheek gently, his eyes raising to Sylar. "Fucked 'er nose up something awful. She won't talk much 'bout it." His gaze returns to Munin, a warm smile given to her. "Good morning princess. Sylar's back from 'is little penguin safari." The Wolf informs, going to sit on the couch, gently pushing her feet over so that he can make room to do so.

Sylar hesitates, then moves closer, though still keeping a distance. At this range, said adventure to the penguin safari has left its mark - it's almost hard to see, but little smudges of black dot here and there on his face, the fading effects of frostbite. It gives a more grimy effect than a painful one. "I didn't meet any," he feels moved to state, and adds, "Penguins," for clarification. She's bird girl, she might have been interested.

Munin winces at the memory as Ethan brings it up again — really, she'd just like to forget about it and keep towels over all the reflective surfaces in the apartment until the purple splotches have faded a little more. Reminders are almost as unpleasant as the pain when she isn't on the vicodin Elias gave her. "You weren't really in Antarctica," she croaks hoarsely, speech becoming more coherent as she continues to wake up. When Ethan nudges her feet aside, she makes room for him on the couch, drawing her knees up against her chest beneath the blankets. Two of her toes, pale and pink, peek out from beneath the hem, wriggling a little as she regains feeling in them. Pins and needles prickle through her limbs — one of the unfortunate side-effects of sleeping in the same position for too long. "I'm really glad you're back." So is speaking without thinking.

Glancing down at her toes, Ethan pulls the blanket down, tucking it over her feet. "'E was, love. At least for part of the time. That's where we found 'im." Leaning back in the couch he looks up at Sylar, arching a brow. "But that's not where you were the 'ole time." Ethan murmurs softly. "Gillian's rightly pissed at you, mate. I would avoid 'er for a bit. She keeps leaving me notes that say I should fuck myself." He grins a little bit. "She's fiery."

While an armchair just a few paces away near invites him to sit down, Sylar stays standing awkwardly a few feet away from the couch, as if forgetting social niceties for a moment as he fairly stares at Munin. He doesn't respond, really, just stares, before he flicks his gaze back to Ethan and raises an eyebrow at that. "Well she is the one that shot me in the shoulder," he says, dryly, keeping that right hand supporting his left arm out of habit. A pause, focusing on Ethan a little more, eyebrows twitching to furrow in vague confusion. "She's still in New York?" Apparently, this comes as a surprise to Sylar.

Gillian. Munin's lips curl at the name, a faint hint of amusement tugging at the corners of her mouth that quickly fades after Ethan finishes his sentence. Gillian's pissed at Sylar? Gillian shot Sylar? Just how much did she miss when Phoenix was playing its version of it-rubs-the-lotion-on-its-skin-or-else-it-gets-the-hose-again? Woozily, she pushes herself up into a sitting position that — while a little lopsided — is still technically upright.

"She's still in that apartment. Till you get back, she says." Ethan informs, bringing his palms up. "It's 'ow I found out where you were. That's where Peter.." Yes he knows the name. Even though none of his own people would give it to him. Grr. "Thought 'e sent you." He says, looking at Sylar appraisingly. "And before you ask, Homeland Security apparently 'as 'im."

That's where Peter thought he… Sylar eyes close for a moment, as if appreciating a funny joke. His mouth even turns up at the corner in a bitter smile. With a soft snort of annoyance, he looks away briefly. HomeSec. Just like the man's future counterpart had said. "Well that's nice of them," he says, blandly. Another look to Munin, a fleeting glance, then to Ethan. "Where do you keep your pain meds?" If he is in pain enough to warrant the things, he hasn't shown it since Antarctica, and the question is delivered as if were asking where Ethan keeps the towels.

Having sat up without disaster befalling her, Munin takes the next step and rises to her feet, the blankets wrapped around her like a winter cloak. "I have them." Outside, snowflakes gather and clump on the windowsill where the ever-watchful Bran is perched with his head angled downward, beady black eyes fixed on the complex's entrance below. She takes one step forward and then another, her movements just a fraction more clumsy and awkward than usual, though the folds of quilted fabric help to mask her condition. There's a tiny rattling sound as she retrieves the bottle from the interior pocket of the bathrobe she's wearing beneath them and then offers it to him once she's close enough.

"You should rest." Ethan murmurs, though to which one of them, it is not certain. Most likely to both of them. He goes to stand, fixing his gaze on Sylar. "We 'ave a lot to talk about when you wake up." He looks at the man's shoulder. "Do you need a doctor? I will 'ave an appointment set up." Ethan informs. Though obviously not with a normal doctor. He's about to answer his question, though Munin takes care of it for him

Sylar extends his right hand out to take the bottle of pills. His fingertips are still dark from his brief adventures in Antarctica, but they, too, would heal. He looks towards Ethan and doesn't acknowledge how much they have to talk about - he looks almost guarded at the prospect, eyes hooded and hand clenching about the bottle of pain meds, then giving a dismissive nod. "The stitches need changing," he says. At the very least. And through Munin's head, he echoes Ethan's own words, We have a lot to talk about.

Munin's eyes linger on Sylar's fingertips, and as she raises her gaze back to his face she notices the black spots for the first time. She doesn't recognize them for what they really are, but it's clear that he's hurt — if he wasn't, he wouldn't be requesting the vicodin. And while, yes, they undoubtedly have a lot to talk about, right now she'll settle for expressing her thoughts through body language instead of words; in a rare moment of full-on physical contact, she encircles her arms around his waist and squeezes, pressing into him, her head turned to the side to prevent crushing her nose against his chest. She learned not to do that the hard way when she tried to give Wu-Long a hug upon being reunited with the Vanguard. It hurts.

Looking on the two, Ethan rolls his head to the side. "Well.. Even though you two should be getting rest. I guess I'll be the first one actually doing it." Ethan explains, taking a step forward he plants a kiss on the top of Munin's head, then places his hand on Sylar's shoulder for just a moment. "It's good to 'ave you both back." With that he goes to his room.

And Sylar's spine straightens like a rod as soon as her arms wrap around him. His Adam's apple works in his throat for a moment, free hand awkwardly coming down to place high on her back, and he almost shoots a desperate look for help in Ethan's direction. Not that the man would know why, or could do anything. It is, after all, just a hug. Even serial killers earn hugs. He allows the embrace for a few moments, unfeeling fingertips absently playing with the ends of her hair before firmly extracting himself from the hold, just as Ethan's approaches. He simply nods to the man, and makes a strategic retreat to the kitchen without a glance towards the two.

Munin makes no protest as Sylar slips away into the kitchen. It was just a hug — and hugs aren't meant to last. She takes no offense, senses nothing amiss, and watches Ethan retire to the master bedroom for the night with her hands clutching the hems of the blankets to prevent them from sliding off her shoulders and cascading to the floor. Even though Dorchester Towers is a reputable apartment complex, it's still winter in New York City, and it's bitterly cold. When the door has shut behind him and she can hear the sound of water running in the bathroom, she turns her attention back to Sylar in the kitchen, saying nothing. If he wants to talk, he'll initiate the conversation like he always does.

That's the idea, anyway.

In slow and almost clumsy movements, Sylar sets about the task of putting on tea. He's abandoned his coat by now, down to a crisp blue shirt that's buttoned right up to the throat, tucked into conservative grey slacks that mostly fit, but the dusty, scuffed boots he's wearing are distinctly his own. A glass of water would be simpler, especially when you're doing everything with one hand, but he craves something warm, and besides, he has his powers. A stoneware mug is lifted out of a cabinet with barely a flick of his hand, and it settles with a gentle clatter just as Munin moves into the room. He opens the bottle of vicodin and shakes out a couple of tablets. "I can't imagine Phoenix being the type to break noses." Hey, if you're willing to let Sylar start the conversation… "But I guess difference is only skin deep."

"They aren't." Munin has had plenty of time to think about her stint at the asylum, but this is the first she's spoken of the conclusion she reached. "One of them left me alone with a dinner knife." As if that explains everything, she leaves the rest of the story untold, hoping Sylar can piece it together without needing her to elaborate further. She stabbed somebody, not because she wanted to kill them, but because she didn't have the courage to take her own life instead.

It isn't something she's particularly proud of.

"They wanted names, abilities, addresses," Munin continues, "but they didn't want to hurt me to make me give them up. One tried — Alexander. I keep thinking I should have saved it for him instead." Another pause, and she lapses back into thought, the expression on her face growing hard, dark and very reminiscent of her twenty-nine-year-old-self. Her voice has the same steely edge, though not as honed. "They don't know what they're doing," she says softly. "Ethan's going to slaughter them."

Hot water is poured into the mug, and he doesn't think to add sugar or cream. Tea on its own will do. During her explanation, Sylar flicks glances at her, always returning to his task at hand, and barely waiting for his drink to cool before he's throwing back the pain meds with a liberal sip of hot tea. Burned tongues aside, it's worth it. "Cowardly and stupid," he says, somewhat bitterly, if simultaneously amused. "No wonder we win."

At first, Munin passes Sylar's unusual phrasing off as side-effect of his injuries. She hasn't exactly been entirely lucid these past few days either, and thinks she understands where he might be coming from. But there's also something about the tone of his voice that causes her to hesitate, scrutinizing him from her spot on the threshold between living room and kitchen. "You don't know that," she points out mildly, gently trying to correct Sylar and mentally nudge him back in the right direction. "Unless you painted it." A beat. "Did they have watercolours in Antarctica?"

Sylar shakes his head. Not even a flicker of a smile for the Antarctica comment. "I saw it," he says, quietly, and glances towards Ethan's door. Apparently, he doesn't believe the man is eavesdropping, but still, he keeps his voice low. Arm still folded to himself, he awkwardly holds the mug of tea in his right hand, moving to lean against the kitchen counter and stare sightlessly down into the liquid. "Peter didn't send me to Antarctica. I went into the future." Such a thing is stated almost casually, although his stance and demeanor is anything but. There's a pause. "Then Antarctica."

Munin, sensing that Sylar doesn't want to be overheard, moves into the kitchen completely and adopts a seat at one of the bar stools on the opposite side of the counter, pulling herself up onto it with a small sigh of effort. Painting the future is one thing. Traveling to it is quite another. Desperately curious but not wanting to press too hard too fast, she places both her palms flat on the counter and fixes Sylar with a cool, level look, green eyes bright with what is probably a strange mix of apprehension and wonder. First and foremost on her mind: "Was it like the picture you showed me?"

"On the surface." Sylar approaches to stand just on the other side, setting the mug down and absently rubbing the tips of his numbed fingers together, a flicker of a wince moving across his face. "It was exactly the same." He probably couldn't express how literally it was the same, either. Right down to the car rammed into a store through to the painted biohazard symbol. It was as if the painting had come to life before his bleary eyes before he'd passed out cold on the street. "But underground there were people… a powerplant. But most of everyone was dead. Kazimir had gotten his way."

Munin sits in silence, absorbing this new information as stoically as she can manage. It's a few moments before the facade begins to crack and she finds her gaze sliding down, down, down to the countertop where her hands are. She stares at the back of her fingers, solemnly studying the small bumps that are her knuckles and hoping she'll find something more interesting to focus on there. It doesn't work. Swallowing hard, she forces herself to look back up at Sylar — while there was uneasiness in her eyes before, there is only fear and niggling doubt now. "Was it as good as you hoped it would be?" That is, perhaps, the better question.

Her gaze goes back up, his goes back down. The last few moments, the explosions, the plague of locusts, the darkness— and then that last moment of a face, like Dorian Gray's portrait, marked and aged and evil. The disappointment of betrayal, the disgust at himself, has only really started to sink in now, now that he's talking properly. "No," Sylar says, the word heavy, weighted, voice thick for a moment, and when he opens his mouth to say more, nothing comes out. So his teeth grit back together and he stares down at his tea, growing colder by the second.

Munin isn't sure if this revelation should make her feel more anxious or relieved. She studies Sylar's face, uncertain, and ultimately takes her cue from him — as his tea goes cold, so does the sensation of blood running through her veins. Pulling the blankets just a little tighter with one hand, she uses the other to absently tuck several curly strands of raven black hair behind her right ear. "What are you going to do?"

The money question. Sylar brings the tea up to sip from, and almost shrugs at the girl standing across from him. "Save the world," he says, echoing a future Peter's words and just like him, the statement is tinged with disbelief as well as bitterness. He steps back from the counter, and shakes his head a little, the real answer being: he doesn't know. He looks at her for a moment, as if waiting for her to yield all the answers in the world— or simply just studying her in a way almost rude, before he's moving out of the kitchen, towards the bedroom Ethan is loaning to him.

As tempted as she is to pursue Sylar into the bedroom and ask him more questions about the things he saw while he was gone, Munin doesn't move from her seat on the stool. There's something wrong — moreso than what he's already told her would suggest — but whatever that something is, it pales in comparison to the way he keeps looking at her. When his back is safely facing her and he's on his way out of the room, she reaches up and rubs her fingertips against the top of her now slightly sweaty brow, self-conscious, plainly put-off. She can't even begin to fathom what's going on in his head; there certainly aren't any answers in hers.

December 17th: Like the Odessa File
December 17th: A Little Princess
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